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Showing 1-10 of 201 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 388 reviews
on March 22, 2015
Wasn't sure what to think of this one when I started but thought, "What the hell, it's Stephen King." I was not disappointed at all. A quick read actually and in my opinion pretty fast paced.
A story about a man, who is mentally challenged, that kidnapps a baby boy. His story has quite a bit of heart to it and sadness also. Stephen King has a gift of drawing you in the story and feeling for the characters. This one is no different. You really feel for this man and what is happening with him, and what has happened to him.
I highly recommend this book to anyone who really wants an enjoyable read. Will say this, if you are looking for the stereotypical Stephen King horror, you won't find it here. It is just a really good story. Try it out.
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on May 16, 2017
I'm glad I waited to read your early works ( Bachman) last, not sure if I would have been ready for them back then. As you like to call us constant reader am I. I did enjoy the story, somewhat my thoughts on it are mixed. I guess I always expect to be shocked.... but it never came, for me. You did warn us. I very much enjoyed the short memory story at the end. I have read most of your work, this is my least favorite.
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on June 12, 2017
I posted a high rating for this novel because not only is Stephen King my favorite author, besides James Patterson. Blaze was sad, but Stephen King knows what his readers like that's what I love about Stephen King... keep em coming Steve.
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on April 5, 2017
I really enjoyed this book. It reminded me a little of "Of Mice And Men". The story was captivating and the caricatures were well defined. I was thinking, nothing better happen to the baby, I would be very upset. Well done
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on March 29, 2017
Such a sad villain. So many strikes against him, yet he does find some joyful moments. Colorful and vivid characters. Great story. I'm still thinking about who to cheer for; which one is truly the "bad guy". Is it society?
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on October 11, 2008
It's hard to expect much from a book when it opens with the author telling you he felt so little for his own creation he didn't even keep the original typed copy.

But "Blaze," in my opinion, is a great read. It hooks you instantly with its sympathetically slow main character and rumbles along to its inevitable finale.

Stephen King always knows best what does and does not work in his novels, and he's correct that the flashbacks in this book are its highlight. Even though they occasionally veer into near Upton Sinclair-esque melodrama, they have a clean sentimentality that I loved. They may even be a little cliche, if we're being honest, but King has always been a master of the little details of spirit and humanity. That is on strong display here.

What King does brilliantly in this novel is take someone doing something absolutely horrible and make you love him. Blaze, a smart boy who had his brain scrambled by a drunk, abusive father, who now stands a massive 6'7", is the ultimate pulling-on-your-heartstrings "big dumb guy" -- he's the original John Coffey, really. Blaze is a small-time con artist whose partner dies right before their big final score can happen, and Blaze goes about it alone (along with the help of his partner's ghost). You almost have to shake your head in sympathy as Blaze imagines he's outsmarting everyone but is clearly laying down a trail that will easily lead right back to him. The unraveling of his crime is as obvious as how he will react to what he has taken.

Blaze's sad growing affection for the baby he kidnaps is so overly melodramatic it's almost comedic, but you can't stop it from affecting you. That's fully because of King's ability to take such a scenario and make you care.

"Blaze" is a straightforward, almost sappy, story from Stephen King -- and I definitely loved every sentimental moment of it.
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on June 10, 2008
The other evening I was meeting a friend for dinner when a huge handsome mastiff and his owner walked by me in the streets of New York. Having just read "Blaze", I thought this would be a great companion for the title victim depicted in this recent novel of King's. This brilliant author, however, is as usual ahead of this reader in his accounts, and has eliminated this happy possibility; Blaze, the protagonist with valid reason, has a strong terror of dogs and this is finely outlined in the novel.

As a young and bright boy, Blaze is 'finished' when his dad throws him violently down the stairs and he sustains serious head injuries. We have a tragedy beginning at the early stages of this novel. While Blaze grows up to be a giant in height and heft, he remains a child at the prey of bunko artists, the criminally-minded, and anyone who shows him a gesture of kindness while planning to use him for their own evil agenda. It is only a question of time when Blaze now a young adult becomes the weapon of a man, who feeds and offers him shelter while attempting to turn him into a ferocious 'human' canine, with varying success. There is one particularly heart-breaking moment in the story where a kind and astute older man, having hired Blaze to work for him, is about to take him under his wing when this opportune salvation falls through. To sum it up, Mr. King reminds one again that while one can physically destroy a human being, it is far harder to confiscate the essence of his very soul. Blaze, is a good example in point, for once extremely intelligent and gifted as a child, he will always remain good at heart.

It has been years that I have been meaning to thank Stephen King, not only for his original, imaginative and entertaining work, but also for being one of my finest American teachers when it comes to being introduced to the mentality, insight and ways of living of other people across the vast states of this nation. As for this recent novel of his, "Blaze" appears to be King's fine ode to the better-known 'Lennys' of this world, as described by the late author John Steinbeck in his classic book, and it is both poignant and sad. Some readers do not care for King's early novels, written when he was an adolescent, and which he describes as his 'trunk novels'. And, yet "The Long Walk" and "Thinner", among others that he wrote many years ago, remain two perennial favorites; ones that I continue to recommend to first-time readers of his.

All to say, I hope Mr. King re-visits his trunk from time-to-time where there appears to be a rich treasure trove of rewarding stories to be found under the dust and cobwebs, written when he was a young man. In the meantime, when it comes to his "Blaze", and such casualties as to be found in the leading character here, perhaps one can only join Stephen King in saying a simple and hopeful prayer for them.
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on February 28, 2017
Apparently Stephen King “found” an old manuscript by Richard Bachman and decided to dust it off and put it out. Why he couldn’t just say that he wrote the damn story is beyond me. There is nothing wrong with the fact he wrote it back in the early seventies while he was still using the Bachman name. All I can see here is that it was a publicity stunt. Let’s get to the review.

The Ugly: Aside from the aforementioned problems above, the main problem with this book is the pacing. I found it to be a bit boring at times. Especially when King was writing Blaze’s childhood is when it all stood out.

The Bad: Making Blaze kind of an idiot savant by using the “ghost” of George as a way to pull off the kidnapping. He was damaged as a kid, severely. There was no way someone who had that much brain damage could come up with the type of person Blaze did.

The Good: Even though I didn’t like the “ghost” of George, the character development of Blaze was the best thing about this book. Now just hear me out on this. It worked because Blaze was now more than a child’s mind at the beginning of the book. By the end, he understood what was really happening. It worked quite well.

Final Thoughts: If you have read everything else that King has written, you can venture into this land. It’s not a bad book, it just didn’t work for me.
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VINE VOICEon March 7, 2008
Clayton "Blaze" Blaisdell Jr isn't the sharpest tool in the shed, but what he lacks in brain, he makes up in brawn.

Blaze would be a good friend to have on your side, say, if you found yourself stuck in a tough foster home. And he'd make a great sidekick/bodyguard, say, if you were a wisecrackin', con-jobbin' pipsqueak. But on his own, Blaze doesn't get a lot right, say, like...a kidnapping.

Blaze is vintage Stephen King. It's also classic King prose. The writing took me back to the late 70s/early 80s King style that either has lost some of its luster or has just become too familiar these days.

In the book's Forward, King explains Blaze as a recently "updated" version of one of his first writings (circa 1973) as Richard Bachman. I'm not sure what the purpose of the updates were. Why not just set the mood in 1973? In fact, I even noticed an update he missed: in one clearly updated sentence it was implied that this was the Reagan era (circa the 80s), but a few pages later it was implied that Barry Goldwater (circa the 60s) was in need of a nickname.

Anyway, Blaze was a fast, engaging read...like all of King's early novels. I'd highly recommend it as an enjoyable escape to pass some of your free time.
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on November 9, 2016
Blaze is definitely worth reading, Stephen King fan or not. The story is a good one; the 'back stories' even better. Some readers may not even recognize it as a King novel, except for his frequent and easily identifiable colloquialisms. Without these, many people would struggle to believe that Blaze was written by anyone but Richard Bachman!!
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